Sarah was identified by God as the “mother of nations.” But for so many years, she had been childless. The promise of God was spoken to Abraham, but as time passed, she felt forgotten and forsaken. 

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” 

(Proverbs 13:12, NIV.)

She was heartsick, questioning, and longing for something that seemed so out of reach as the years slipped by.

She had waited eleven long years for the promise to be fulfilled. Finally, in her impatience and desperation, Sarah sent her servant to conceive in her place—Hagar,.her very name means forsaken. Even though it was not God’s perfect plan, a son was born into this union. God told Hagar to give her son the name Ishmael, which means “God has heard.”

Fourteen more years pass, and once again, God comes to Abraham. God has not forgotten His vow to Sarah, even though it seemed to her a lifetime ago.

Genesis 17:16-20, NLT:

“And I will bless her and give you a son from her! Yes, I will bless her richly, and she will become the mother of many nations. Then Abraham bowed to the ground, but he laughed to himself in disbelief. ‘How could I become a father at the age of one hundred? And how can Sarah have a baby when she is ninety?’ And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”  But God replied, “No—Sarah, your wife, will give birth to a son for you. You will name him Isaac, and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.  As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants.”

God appears and speaks to Sarah in her doubt and unbelief. At ninety, it seems impossible for her to bear the son she has yearned to hold for all these years. As God speaks, she laughs at the ridiculousness of it all. How could she birth a child now, in her old age? 

Genesis 18:13-14, NLT:

“Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, “Can an old woman like me have a baby?”  Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Isaac was born as God designed and promised. His name means “Laughter.” Sarah declares in her joy, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear will laugh with me!”

The first son, Ishmael, was born of the flesh, born of impatience and discouragement. The second son, Isaac, was born of the Spirit, born of divine promise and joy.        

How many times have we questioned God’s promises to us? Because our eyes are on ourselves and the impossibility of our situation, it seems unbelievable that God’s promise can be fulfilled. Maybe we have become impatient in the waiting and tried to “help” God. We allow our human efforts to replace God as the Lord of our lives and put ourselves on His throne.

There will be long, hard days filled with tears and questioning. But God has pledged, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5 in the Amplified Bible says, “I will never let you down or relax my hold on you.” 

We can stand firm, holding onto His hand, and know He is faithful who promised.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to rest in Your divine promises today. Nothing is too hard for You to handle. I won’t be discouraged in the waiting. I know You will answer as only You can. You will bring joy and laughter into my impossible situation as I leave it in Your hands.


Shelly Stringfellow is the blessed wife of one husband, Roy, for the past 38 years, proud mother of two exceptional adult children, Candace and Jordan, and Mimi, to the two cutest grandbabies ever, Ellainya and Selah. She loves reading and writing but is not a fan of ‘rithmetic! She attends Lighthouse Church in Princeton, Texas, where her son-in-law and daughter pastor.

1 Comment